The Story of the Alphabet 83 acquired a new use, and TH served for both sounds At a later date die breach between spelling and speech widened thiough the interference of classical scholars in the light of curient and often mistaken views about word origin Thus debt though derived directly fiom the French word dette, sucked in a silent b to indicate the common origin of both from the Latin dehtwn For what regularities do exist we owe far more to the printers than to the scholars Printing checked individual prac- tices to which scribes—like stenographers—were prone, when the art of writing was still (like stenography) a learned profession ENGLISH CONSONANTS IN PHONETIC SCRIPT I b as in bib d „ did 11 fed 3? get 33 hit 99 kit 33 lit >3 men 33 nib 33 Pit 3 i 4 g 5. h 6 k 7- 1 8 m 9 n 10 p 11 r 12 s 33 red 33 Sit 13 t as in ten 14 V „ vet 15 W 99 wet 16 z „ zest 77 J -•= y 33 yet 18 J =*• Sh 33 shin 19 3 =• si „ vision 20 0 =-th w dun 21 a ==th „ then 22 *) ^ng 3. sing 23 d? r~= J w jam 24 tj" ~~ch „ chat Even when two languages which share the same alphabet enjoy the benefit of a comparatively regular system of spelling as do Norwegian, German, and Spanish, many of the symbols have different values when we pass from one to another So spelling is never a reliable guide to pronunciation of a foreign language. For this reason linguists have devised a reformed alphabet for use as a key to help us to pronounce words of any language with at least sufficient accuracy to make intel- ligible communication possible without recourse to personal instruc- tion In this international alphabet, sixteen of the consonant symbols (see above) have their characteristic English values common to European usage in so far as a specific sound usually corresponds to one alone With these good European symbols are others which do not occur HI the Latin alphabet One of them, jy stands for the sound it repre- sents (our initial Y) in Scandinavian languages and in German, Three of the supplementary ones are taken from the Greek, Irish, and Ice- landic scripts (Fig. n) The remainder are inventions.